Lighting and background is usually the biggest challenge. To get the better apertures, you need enough light and that light needs to be flattering, not ugly fluorescent lights, etc. Hence the need for flash and then the need for large modifiers. To get a good background you either need distance from the background or create it with an artificial background. All of that takes space.
So what to do?
GO OUTSIDE. Use the outdoor natural light and move around in a park or other pleasing setting at good times of the day (morning and evening) and use shaded areas when the light is too harsh. Experiment. Make sure you still use fill flash when outdoors
. Try to use a decent speedlite. Keep it on camera at first and then get flash modifiers/stands later that will work with your speedlite and get some inexpensive remote triggers that support ETTL like the ones from Yonghuo. Get the camera low and try using the sky as a background or trees.
Another advanced technique is to use a ND filter or Polarizer to reduce the light and allow a more shallow DOF for up close portraits, etc.
I also agree with reading or watching online videos. Lots of ideas can be seen/found.
I like the advice already given about the picture telling the story regardless of the camera, settings, etc. Keep that in mind and HAVE FUN. The best pictures of anyone will happen when everyone is relaxed and at ease. Not feeling awkward around the camera. If you're stressed, your subjects will be too. So relax and have fun.
TAKE A LOT OF FRAMES! You never know how the picture truly looks until you are sitting at the computer and you discover all kinds of things you missed. Someone blinks, has hair out of place, background failure, trees, branches, poles, whatever growing out of a head, bad smiles, etc. So take a lot of frames in several poses and settings to help overcome this.
Finally, get Lightroom and you'll be amazed what you can fix and recover when things aren't going your way.